Welcome to our Blog

The Gold standard

Read our latest post

How to Get an A in Maths?

Math is a challenging subject for many students. Every student would love to score an A. Being a challenging subject, it makes it that much sweeter.

But most students don’t know how to get to the ‘A.’ It starts with plenty of hard work, determination and the tips we’re about to share to get you that coveted grade.

Get the homework done

Most students think of math homework as a choice, especially because it usually hard and most students would rather not do it. But, it’s with homework that you start to master the concepts you learn in class.

Getting over the homework hump requires consistency, finding an ideal place and a regular time that will make doing your math homework automatic.

Fight nail and tooth to attend every class

Math classes move very fast, with new concepts being taught daily. What you do today will builds tomorrows class. Math punishes absentees. Every time you miss class you miss an opportunity to build on your knowledge base and set yourself back on your progress.

You should find every possible excuse to attend math classes. In case of any unavoidable circumstances, ensure you find ways to come back and learn what you missed. But try as much as possible to save time for your math classes.

Find a study partner

A study partner will come in handy in more ways than one. If you have to miss classes for any legitimate reasons, your study partner will take good notes and help you catch up on what you miss and call you to tell you about the homework.

Study partners also help to keep you accountable. On those days you don’t feel like getting yourself to class. In more advanced classes, you can also build a study group that will help you practice and prepares for tests.

Build a good rapport with the teacher

Math teachers are overworked and often overwhelmed. They have numerous students to work with which is why you have to distinguish yourself.

On the first week of school, introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know that you are interested in the class and you have taken particular interest in the math class.

During class, ask questions to show the teacher you’re paying attention. If possible, get your parents to introduce themselves to the teacher as well. They don’t have to do it physically. A simple E-mail will suffice.

Teacher respond more positively to students who show interest in the class. This gives you an opportunity to get extra attention in class. It also makes it easier to approach the teacher when you have questions or need explanations on areas that you need help with.

Analyse each mistake and see it as an opportunity to improve

An ‘A’ in math won’t come the minute you start putting in the effort. You’re going to stumble along the way, make mistakes and even get some subpar results along the way.

But you should know that this is about progress not perfection. Take every mistake as a learning opportunity. Students often want to overlook a mistake made on a test or homework and just let it go. It shouldn’t be the case. Take time to figure out what caused the mistake and most importantly, figure out how to do it right the next time.

If you’re unsure, involve your teacher. For advanced math classes, writing paragraphs for reflection can help to straighten things out and shed light on the errors and how to avoid them next time.

Hire a tutor

The greatest mistake that students make is not acceptable when they need help. Most will continue to struggle and watch their grades dwindle instead of reaching out for help. Getting some assistance to get your grades up isn’t a bad idea. You can start by putting requests for extra help from your teachers. They are often very receptive to such requests.

You could also think of hiring a maths tutor and Alchemy has just the service for you. There are numerous benefits to having a tutor like:

  • The tutor will work at your pace helping you understand the concepts and ironing out any potential challenges.
  • With a tutor, you have all the personal attention you need to improve your grades in math.
  • Tutors are flexible and convenient. They will work around your schedule

What’s more a tutor can help you with more than just your goals. They can help you set goals and objectives and work with you to achieve them.

Alchemy has done most of the work to find the best tutors in Australia so you don’t have to waste time finding the right fit. You can get started working towards your ‘A’ in maths sooner.

Don’t ignore the basics

Scoring an A in maths starts with mastering the basics. The simple multiplications tables and other common basics are vital skills that will fast track your progress. Every math topic builds up to the next like a thriller. Paying attention to the first topic of the academic is just as important as paying attention to the last. This way you have all the basics you need to smash every test no matter how challenging the test gets.

Get your exams right

Exams are as important as any other part of this process. The first challenge is managing your time properly. Most students complain of the exam paper being lengthy and not finishing on time. Even with the best preparation, if you can’t finish your paper, an A will be out of reach.

Always approach the exam in a structured manner. Don’t leave the easier questions for last. Tackle them first to allow you more time to deal with the harder questions.

Final Thoughts

Don’t underestimate math. It’s the greatest mistake you can make. By seeing it as a formidable foe, you will take proper precautions and preparation. Take each of the steps mentioned seriously and understand that the more you practice and remain consistent will play a vital role to help you upgrade your math grades to an ‘A.’

How To Get an A in English?

English as a subject is often underestimated. As most students quickly find out, speaking English and learning are two different monsters. Getting an A in English is not an easy fete. But, it’s not impossible either.

You need proper preparation and taking the subject with the seriousness it deserves right from the beginning. In this guide, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks that you can use to get your English grades up and work towards scoring that coveted ‘A.’

Missing classes is not an option

Most of the test questions come from the materials that your teacher presents in class. In some classes, the teacher might even tell the students what the test will be about, allowing them to prepare.  Missing classes means such materials and opportunities pass you by. Missing a class should never be an option unless it is absolutely necessary.

Get active in class

English courses involve class discussions and analysis. You need to pay close attention to these discussions and also actively participate to benefit from them. Participation will play a huge role in improving your grades and make it easier for you to understand the material.

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and ask questions. It’s more important to be proactive in the discussions if English is not one of the strongest subjects.

You can use the group discussions to clarify any areas you’re not certain with or reading issues. Don’t limit the participation to class only.

Your teacher is your coach

Teachers take an interest in students who take their classes seriously. They love students who work hard and show progress. To get an ‘A’ in English, you will need to be all of this.

Don’t be like most students who think of their teachers as enemies. See your teacher as your friend in learning and someone there to help you achieve your goals. Your teacher is your English coach, and together, you can work towards the grade you want.

Make an effort to introduce yourself to the teacher at the beginning of the semester. Participate in class by answering questions and asking some of your own. If you can get the teacher’s attention, you will have a more cordial working relationship, and they will be more open to giving you the extra attention you need to improve your grades.

Get a study partner

There’s more you can do with your friend than hanging out and going to the movies. You can also study together. If they get better grades in English, then you’re in luck.

Besides studying together, a good study partner will also fill you in on what you miss if you don’t make it to class. They will provide you with the notes on the materials the teacher gave and fill you in on the homework. That way, you never miss anything, even when you can’t make it to class.

Take better notes

Taking notes is a duty that is frowned upon by many students. But, the notes contain important information you get when in class or in group exercises. During exam time, notes give you a valuable study source for revision.

Proper notes make excellent reference points and remind you of anything you might have forgotten. They also make a great foundation for brainstorming essay writing ideas.

If the resources like text or novels are yours, underline essential and interesting passages and make notes on the sides. These are resourceful revision materials that will help with information retention and better prepare you for the exams.

Don’t get left behind

Don’t take the reading for granted. The last thing you want is to get left behind on the assigned reading. Essays and tests will involve selected texts from within the course. Getting left behind means you’re missing out on crucial information that could show up in your next test or exam.

An English course is designed to train you to read, understand and process the information. Ensure you set aside enough time to read the assigned excerpts and prepare to discuss the texts in class. Taking time to master these skills is vital in getting you an ‘A’ in English and could also prove helpful in your future career.

Sit at the front where the action is

There’s a reason why most excelling students are often the ones sitting at the front. There are fewer distractions here, and because you know the teacher’s attention is on you, you tend to concentrate better and prepare for any questions.

If you sit at the back, taking the bold move to move to the front can drastically improve your attention and participation in class. It creates a better environment for your brain. You get to learn more and remember more.  

Consider getting a tutor

Sometimes, getting over the hump requires a little extra help. If you find yourself at the same hurdle constantly, hiring a tutor can go a long way in helping you improve your grades.

Tutors are a great resource and offer numerous benefits as long as you can find the right one. With a tutor, you have a professional that can work around your schedule and give you undivided attention for the period of the session.

The tutor will also work to find ways to help you understand concepts, discussions, and texts in a way that a teacher wouldn’t have the time to do.

At Alchemy, we offer an excellent tutoring service that allows you to pick a tutor from anywhere in Australia and have the sessions done online. It’s not only fun, but you get access to excellent tutors from all over the country, not just in your locality.

Closing Remarks

Although you will quickly discover that getting an ‘A’ in English is not an easy task for most students, with some effort and consistency, you will realise that it is possible. We have outlined all the tips you can use to help you achieve your goal of scoring an ‘A’ in English. The rest is up to you to put in the work, remain committed and dedicated to the process. If you do, there’s no reason you shouldn’t score that glamorous ‘A.’

What to do after Year 12?

It’s easy to feel lost when you’re leaving school. Although it can be exciting to have so many options and possibilities ahead of you, it isn’t always easy to make sense of the choices you have. Perhaps you’ve sat your final exam and know you’re destined for a particular trade. It could be that you don’t know what to do next and want to keep your options open. Either way, it’s often challenging to know what to do after Year 12.

The good news is that the world is your oyster. There are so many alternative routes you can take, and you can always choose a new path if you decide to adjust your goals.

While there are literally thousands of things you can do after Year 12, here are some of the most common choices that you may wish to explore.

Enter the world of work

It might be that you’re sick of classrooms and want to start earning your money. If that’s the case, further education might not be your best bet and getting a job could set you on the right path. There are tonnes of different sectors, fields, and roles to explore out there – both in Australia and internationally.

Whatever you do, just make sure that you have a great CV that stands out to potential employers. This will be a lot easier to create if you have a solid set of grades behind you, and if you’re looking at this before your exam season, it’s not too late to get help from our expert tutoring team.

Depending on what you want to do, you might still need to get some further qualifications. This is particularly the case if you want to progress, and it’s important not to write off the value of a good education. Still, you can be very successful even without any further learning – but don’t think that your only options are to get a job or to go straight to university.

Study at university

Nowadays, university is a non-negotiable requirement for many jobs. Even if a degree is not strictly included on the job spec, lots of candidates are likely to have one and so it’s vital not to write off the importance of continuing your education after Year 12.

University is also a great place to grow as a person. It’s not just about lectures and essays, but also a fantastic social life, societies, and finding your feet as an adult. In some cases it’s an absolute necessity, particularly if you want to enter a vocational profession such as law, medicine, dentistry, architecture, and countless other skilled jobs.

Getting into university can be daunting, but if you’ve been studying hard, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Just don’t feel as if you have to go, because there are plenty of other options available to you.

Go to TAFE

Technical and Further Education colleges (TAFE) are quite different from university, not least because they focus on a different set of courses. This might be a good option if you want to learn a trade, get into the hospitality business, or hone your hairdressing or beauty skills. These courses are fantastic, and they can open a lot of doors to you.

The beauty of going to TAFE is that you can always change your mind and transfer to university or out into the working world if you decide that’s best. Just make sure that you weigh up all of the costs and find out what works for you.

Find an apprenticeship

Another option is to learn a trade by getting stuck in at the deep end. An apprenticeship allows you to combine work with study, learning on the job as you go.

In many cases, your employer will even pay for a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course at a local educational provider. This will give you all the theory behind what you’re learning out in the field.

There are lots of careers that you can get into via an apprenticeship. From retail and construction to business administration and mechanics, many of them are in high demand and can command a very respectable salary. To top it all off, you’ll earn money as you learn – which is always an attractive prospect.

Take some time off

The most important thing to remember is that there’s no rush! Whatever you want to do will still be there in a year, and the pressure to get on with things as fast a possible is artificial. Often, it’s better to sit back, take your time, and have a long hard think about what you want to do.

Travel, take a part-time job, and enjoy life. You’ve just spent 13 years in the classroom, so nobody would blame you for letting loose on a gap year before you enter the big wide world. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your passion somewhere along the way.

The bottom line

Whatever it is that you want to do next, the most important thing to know is that you have options. From university and apprenticeships to part-time jobs and round the world trips, the choice really is yours.

Of course, the options available are likely to look a whole lot better if you’ve got a decent set of grades behind you. For help with that, get in touch with Alchemy Tuition, and book your first tutoring session today.

How to get 99 ATAR

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is used by further education institutions to select students and check them against admissions criteria. Australian students need a high ATAR rank if they want to have the best chance of getting into university – and so many people question what it takes to get 99 ATAR.

Your ATAR rank can fall in intervals of 0.05 anywhere between 0.00 and 99.95 – spelling out how you compare to other students in your age group. An ATAR of 90.00 indicates that you’re in the top 10 per cent of your age group, and put simply, it’s hard work that makes a real difference to your rank.

If you’re planning to go to university and want to be accepted into the best courses, read this guide to find out what it takes to get 99 ATAR.

What is a good ATAR score?

The average ATAR score is around 70.00, but this isn’t representative of every student in Australia. Some don’t achieve an ATAR score at all because they leave school earlier, and if everyone was ranked, the average would naturally be 50.00.

This brings us to the question of what counts as a good ATAR score, and that really depends on what you want to do. Even an ATAR of 65 can be good, so long as it gets you into the university you want to go to. For this reason, it’s important to do your research and find out the criteria for the courses you’re interested in.

Of course, having a higher score will always help – and so here are our top tips for getting a 99 ATAR ranking.

Work hard

There’s no escaping the fact that you need to work hard if you want to get a high ATAR score. It can be hard to see the finish line when you’re just starting out in year 11, but those two years will go quickly and you’ll be sitting your final exams before you know it.

This is why it’s important to stay motivated and to keep your eyes on the prize. Draw out a list of your goals and reflect on them whenever you’re feeling the pressure. Think about how good it will be to ace your exams and get into the university of your dreams. The future ahead is bright, but you have to consistently work hard and put in the effort to reap the rewards.

Of course, it always helps to keep a lolly jar by your workstation, too!

Take breaks, and do things you enjoy

While it is important to stay focused and work hard, it’s also vital that you don’t get tunnel vision. Sure, your ATAR score is important – but it shouldn’t come at the cost of the things you love, or other important parts of life that fill out the rest of your resume.

Universities are looking for high ATAR scores, but they also like to see extra-curricular activities, involvement in sports and other pursuits, and even part-time jobs. All work and no play is not the answer, and you shouldn’t abandon everything else for an ATAR score. Well-rounded candidates perform very well, after all.

Get smart with your study techniques

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “work smart, not hard”, you’re halfway to understanding what needs to be done to score a 99 ATAR. In truth, that ranking is reserved for the very best students and so you need to work smart AND hard – but getting your study techniques nailed down could make the whole process a lot easier.

For one thing, you need to learn how you learn. That might sound stupid, but everyone digests information and knowledge in different ways. Some people are visual learners who respond best to graphs, charts, diagrams, and illustrations. Others are able to skim through pages of notes and understand the material. Either way, you should think about what you respond best to and tailor your notes and revision strategies accordingly.

On that note, make sure that you incorporate past exam papers into your revision schedule. There really is no better way to acquaint yourself with the exam format and you might even end up sitting a real exam with similar questions. Putting yourself through your paces with mock exams and practise papers will help you to sharpen your skills and push you to digest more of the information that the examiners are looking to see in the real thing.

Work with your teachers

Your teachers are there to help you – and that’s a point we cannot stress enough. It might seem like their primary function is to lecture from the front of the classroom, but they can provide so much more support than that.

From asking them to grade your extra work to sitting down with them to discuss your learning technique and to go over any topics you’ve been struggling with, there really is no substitute when it comes to knowledge of the syllabus. For the most part, they will be delighted that you’ve reached out. Just remember that when they make what seems to be a harsh comment on your essay or critique your line of argument, they’re just challenging you to reach your full potential.

The best way to get 99 ATAR

Ultimately, getting 99 ATAR is no easy undertaking. It requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to use all of the resources available to you.

For those students who are aiming for the top universities, a high ATAR score is essential – and it is within your reach. Alchemy Tuition’s select group of expert tutors have all been in your position, put in the work, and gone on to achieve great things after securing a 99+ ATAR rank.

If you want to secure that same level of success, contact us today and get started on supercharging your academic potential. 

Tips for tutoring

Is your first session with a student approaching? Or are you looking to see how you can improve your teaching ability? Tutoring can seem daunting, especially your first time. Below are some tips to be prepared and ready to tutor at your absolute best!

Prepare. It may seem obvious but you must prepare for each lesson with each student as best as possible for them as an individual. The best way to do this is to find out their strengths and weaknesses in the relevant subject/s and gather resources to see where they’re at for the first lesson. After that, make adjustments to how you teach, what subjects you focus on and always try to make changes to suit each students’ own individual needs. Resources are everywhere so it’s very easy to prepare for each individual student. You can always make your own resources if need be!

Be friendly. Greeting children with a smile and positivity goes a long way. Some children may be afraid of the idea of tutors while others may embrace it far easier. Either way, being friendly will help with any student, especially in building a relationship where they feel more comfortable telling you where they have issues and gives them some positivity to work harder by their own free will. Something I love to do is to encourage my students to make mistakes. Not “make mistakes” but more so giving it a go and not being afraid of getting it wrong. This helps their confidence, your relationship and, the next tip, helps to build trust.

Build trust. Building trust in students is essential to their improvement. Your students trusting and respecting you will make sure that they focus more in sessions and will do the necessary work to improve (i.e homework). To build trust, it’s a matter of being friendly and being reliable. Be positive and have a smile and show up, on time, every lesson with work to push them. Encouraging children to make attempts, as per my last tip, will help a ton! Showing that if they make mistakes, you can guide them through it to learn and improve will make students feel happier and feel more confident in themselves and in you.

Push. Now, this tip is the most difficult one but is very important. Push means challenging them, every lesson, to grow and to learn. What makes it difficult is that you must find the right balance for each student. If you give work that is too difficult to some students, they may crumble and their confidence does too, but you can’t give them things that they find easy either. So, how do you balance how much to push? What I like to do is this: after I know where a student is at in their capabilities, I give them some easier warm-up questions to build their confidence and gradually increase the difficulty. For example, I had a student who had issues with 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication. So I started by teaching them a method to follow and gave them easy questions that got more and more difficult. After a few weeks, we started to push more and more to the point where they can now do 5 digit by 5 digit multiplication with ease, where they struggled with 2 digit by 2 digit before.

The pressure of students and parents relying on you can be daunting, and that’s completely understandable! However, in using my tips, you’ll be able to grow as a tutor alongside your student. Just give it your all and you will do a great job!

By Carlos Sheather